I ordered my little green laptop today, the first day they are available on a buy one, give one basis. For $423.95 (includes shipping and tax), I ordered a child-sized laptop designed for school children in developing countries. By paying for two, I’m not only getting a laptop of my own (my first), but also donating one that will go to a child in a another country. Having lived in a developing country (Chad, Africa) from 1989-1992 as volunteers with Mennonite Central Committee, I believe the idea is great. We often dreamed of doing a bookmobile in the bush, with computer/internet access on board. It was easy to see the value it could be to small rural clinics, schools without libraries, towns without newspapers, etc.
So why not just make the donation and give one, or more? Because I fell in love with the little green laptop. It’s small, light, nearly indestructible, dustproof, waterproof (or nearly so), comes with wi-fi, has a screen that can be read in broad daylight, is eminently hackable and, is made to be powered by several different sources. What more could a cross-country bicyclist want?
On our 35 day, 2000+ mile (see blog archives from June) ride from Newton, KS to San Jose, CA last summer, we encountered a certain resistance on the part of libraries to allow us enough internet time to blog several days worth of adventures, and many computers were locked down too much to allow uploading photos at all. This little green laptop, we hope, will enable us to blog and upload photos any time we can find a wi-fi hotspot. Those are available without too much searching. We’re planning our next long ride for June of 2009 on Adventure Cycling’s Underground Railroad route. Only a couple of years old, this route goes right to our bi-annual church conference destination of Columbus, Ohio in 2009. This will be our third cross-country ride to the Mennonite Church USA convention, and each time the fund-raising goal gets bigger…
As soon as we get the laptop (delivery should be before Christmas they said), we’ll start trying it out – and keep you posted on how well it works for blogging and uploading photos on the road.
If you’re interested in a little green laptop, they are only for sale for 15 days, starting Nov. 12th.